Defeat for Town but it’s a close call

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NOT since the last match of the 2003-2004 season have Daventry Town scored three times at Communications Park and gone on to lose the match.

That was until Saturday when Barton Rovers took all three points from a 4-3 success.

But it need not have been like that as the Town led through an early Mark Bellingham goal, trailed 3-1 at half-time and fought back to equalise before Barton’s deserved 77th-minute winner.

Manager Mark Kinsella adopted a 3-5-2 formation in the first-half.

But it did not work with Lewis Bishop and makeshift full-back Luke Edwards failing to cope with the visitors’ flying wide runners Ricky Case and Dave Parkinson.

The net result was that Bellingham’s 15th-minute goal, a close range effort, was quickly erased by the fleet-footed Barton players.

A 25-yard rocket shot from Luke Knight gave Joe Mellings little chance midway through the half and seconds later the visitors were in front when Case netted from close range.

Bobby Dance increased Barton’s lead just before the interval and the Town’s deficit might have been even greater but for a fine reflex save from Mellings.

Then came the second-half fightback.

On the hour Alfie Taylor laid on goals for both Bellingham (his 13th of the campaign) and Claudiu Hoban. But Barton finished the stronger despite Daventry’s two-goal blast.

Dance scored his second goal in the 77th minute before substitute Layne Eadie rattled the Town crossbar to coinclude an entertaining, but ultimately frustrating, 90 minutes for the Daventry players.

Defeat brought the Town their first reversal in seven league games while in-form Barton extended their own winning sequence to five matches following earlier successes against Northwood, Burnham, North Greenford and Marlow.

Kinsella described the encounter as “a game of two halves in which we struggled to get our act together until I reverted to a familiar 4-4-2 pattern after the interval.”

He added: “Clearly we cannot afford to lose too many games like this.”